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The Reviews Matrix - 2006-2007

This page that will essentially be a way for bands and labels to keep up with the review process, from CD arrival/check-in to I-pod transfer, to initial reaction, to full review, to review publication in The Reader -- sorta like tracking a FedEx package. Because of the volume of CDs received at Lazy-i, not all get reviewed, but all get listened to and carefully considered. This will be a way to at least get some feedback and reaction on those recordings that don't make the cut of getting the full review treatment. The matrix will be updated every day a new CD is received, reviewed, etc. Reviews with are the most recent.

Updated 10/15/07

Artist Title Label Log
I-pod Download/
listened to
The Future of the Ghost Freak Out self released 10/15/07        
London After Midnight Violent Acts of Beauty Metropolis 10/15/07        
The Kindness Kind A Novel Don't Be a Lout 10/15/07        
Astral Heights self titled Universal Republic 10/15/07        
The Tender Box The Score. Swing House 10/15/07 10/15/07      
Desensitivity Training self titled self released 10/15/07        
The Cannery There Is Life in This Old Land AB 10/15/07 10/15/07      
Jon Watts The Art of Fully Being Bull and Mouth 10/15/07        
Blue Scholars Joe Metro EP MassLine/Rawkus 10/15/07 10/15/07      
Plastic Parachute Elephants & Giraffes self released 10/15/07        
Show Me Action self titled self released 10/15/07        
Bruce Springsteen Magic Columbia 10/15/07 10/15/07      
Post Harbor Praenumbra self released 10/15/07        
Marla Hansen Wedding Day self released 10/15/07        
Airport Boulevard Asleep with the TV On Yarner 10/15/07        
Wiltrud In a Different Light LC 10/15/07        
Secret Annexe Seven Headed Monster Ocelot 10/15/07        
Davari Abstrakt Motif self released 10/15/07        
Shenight self titled self released 10/15/07        
Hyannis Off the Reels Coco Art 9/29/07 9/29/07      
Monica da Silva Miles from Nowhere self released 9/29/07        
Prize Country Lottery of Recognition Exigent 9/29/07        
Carl Platou Frozen Eve Zygone 9/29/07        
The Maladies self titled Darkjoy 9/29/07        
Georgie James Places Saddle Creek 9/22/07 9/22/07      
Rilo Kiley Under the Blacklight Warners 9/22/07 9/22/07      
Mirah and Spectratone International Share This Place K 9/22/07 9/22/07      
New York City Smoke Musique Noir self released 9/22/07        
Arthur Yoria Handshake Smiles 12 9/22/07        
Hundredair Make Out City Fractured 9/22/07        
Michael J. Downey and the World America   9/22/07        
Two Gallants self titled Saddle Creek 9/22/07 9/22/07   Full review here.
Regina Spektor Begin to Hope Sire 9/15/07 9/15/07      
Francisco Castle State and Main Thief City 9/15/07        
Noah Earle Postcards from Home May Apple 9/13/07        
Dawn Dineen The Ghostly Apple Tree Yarner 9/11/07        
Johnathan Rice Further North Reprise 9/11/07        
Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of Dawn EMI 9/11/07 9/11/07      
X Corporate X Surrender Spyboy 9/11/07        
The Good Life Help Wanted Nights Saddle Creek 9/4/07 9/4/07 9/20/07 Full review here.
Okkervil River The Stage Names Jagjaguwar 9/4/07 9/4/07 9/12/07 See Sept. 21 column, here.
P.A.F. Fingerprints, Medicine Barely Auditable 9/4/07        
The Bonedaddys Waterslide ComboTempo 9/4/07        
Solace Sovay demo self release 9/4/07        
Two Gallants self titled Saddle Creek 9/4/07 9/5/07      
Black Mountain self titled Jagjaguwar 8/30/07 9/4/07      
The May Fire La Victoria Rock Whores 8/30/07        
Daniel G Harmann Anthems from the Gentle War Hello Tower Media 8/27/07 8/27/07  

The problem is getting past the first impressions -- the plodding monotonous rhythms (a la Red House Painters), the mossy falsetto that becomes easy to ignore after the first few songs, the chiming, echo-filled guitars that show an adoration for shoe-gazers. It'd be easy to discard it as not tuneful enough, but downbeat hey-look-at-me anthems like "Beer from a Bottle", "Last Swim of the Year" and "I've Turned to a Life of Crime," (which ends with Harmann "beggin you to stay") catch your gaze and holds it. Produced by Graig Markel of New Sweet Breath (remember those guys?), it soars more than plods. 8/30/07

Modern Life is War Midnight in America Equal Vision 8/27/07        
Lifeguard Nights The Church of Song Head Shop 8/27/07        
The Cave Singers Invitation Songs Matador 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Emma Pollock Watch the Fireworks 4AD 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Interpol Our Live to Admire Matador 8/27/07 8/27/07   People were quick to discard Antics as just another disappointing follow-up, only to later realize just how good it was. This is the one that deserves that sense of disappointment. You get the classic Interpol rhythmic thrust, their usual chugging, echoing guitars and Daniel Kessler's trademark Ethel Merman-esque bark. Missing, however, is the starkness of melody, the dismal pall of bleakness that was so irresistible in their debut. Songs like "The Heinrich Maneuver" and "Who Do You Think?" would have you dance rather than mope. Sometimes I prefer moping. 7/27/07
Garage Mayhem Live at Asbury Lanes Head Shop 8/27/07        
Oakley Hall I'll Follow You Merge 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Golden Boots Burning Brain Park the Van 8/27/07        
Benzos Branches Stinky 8/27/07        
Fior Fiero The Satellite EP Auger Down 8/27/07        
Damien Jurado And Now that I'm in Your Shadow Secretly Canadian 8/27/07 8/27/07      
The Arcade Fire Neon Bible Merge 8/27/07 8/27/07   With "(Antichrist Television Blues)," Win Butler has declared himself a modern-day Bruce Springsteen. I beseech anyone to listen to this song and -- in their mind -- replace Butler's beaten-child warble with The Boss' brassy New Jersey croon and not think of that upbeat era of Springsteen from the '80s just after he discovered Nautilus. It's one of the record's standout tracks, along with "No Cars Go" and "The Well and The Lighthouse" and most of the second half of the disc (after the rather droll, overly produced first half). I still like the debut better. 7/26/07
Baby Walrus Baby Walrus self release 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Blue Scholars Bayani Mass Line Media 8/27/07 8/27/07      
LCD Soundsystem Sound of Silver DFA 8/27/07 8/27/07   The album explodes out of the runway with opener "Get Innocuous" and never reaches that level of pure-build dance-itude again (though it comes close on the title track, whose fortune-cookie lyric is more disturbing than revelatory). Still, nothing here is as good as "Yeah (Crass Version)" or "Daft Punk…" or the genius "Losing My Edge," which is why the debut is still the one to own. 7/27/07
Les Savy Fav Let's Stay Friends Frenchkiss 8/27/07 8/27/07      
The National Boxing Beggars Banquet 8/27/07 8/27/07   You could say they're a newer, fresher version of Interpol, with the same militaristic drums, the same rich, droning vocals, the same elements that forced people to compare Interpol to Joy Division (whether they sounded like Joy Division or not). The difference is The National's variety of sound and song (a quality that Interpol too often lacks) and the willingness to soften the edges with piano or a cushion of synth strings, or a simple acoustic guitar, something Interpol would never consider (nor, I suppose, should they). 7/27/07
The Rentals Last Little Life EP Boompa 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Spoon Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Merge 8/27/07 8/27/07   Not hugely different from Gimme Fiction. Maybe a bit more thought-out, but ultimately, just another bouncy Spoon album in a series of bouncy Spoon albums that stretch back to 2001's Girls Can Tell. And then there's "The Underdog" -- with its handclaps and horns, it might be the best song Britt Daniel ever recorded, thanks, in part, to Jon Brion's production chops (but, sadly, only on this track). 7/27/07
St. Vincent Marry Me Beggars Banquet 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Stars In Our Bedroom After the War Arts & Crafts 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Tokyo Police Club A Lesson in Crime Paper Bag 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Two Gallants The Scenery of Farewell Saddle Creek 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Wilco Sky Blue Sky Nonesuch 8/27/07 8/27/07   I don't like Wilco. Never have. Little bit too hick-jam for my taste. But I like this record. A lot, in fact. This is a departure for Tweedy and Co., who throttled back the twang and opened up something genuine and richly melodic and slightly overcast. I've heard Wilco fans whine that it's too laid-back. Well, they can go back and spin Yankee Hotel Foxtrot again while I enjoy the dark-blue tone of songs like "Either Way" and "Impossible Germany." This is Tweedy's Sea Change, which means, like Beck, it's also the best thing he's ever done. 7/27/07
Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova Once Canvasback 8/27/07 8/27/07   This soundtrack to one of the best movies about music that I've seen in a long time is a postcard reminder of the film's finest choke-up moments, much in the same vein as Magnolia's soundtrack (minus the Supertramp songs). If you're smart enough to see this indie gem before it leaves The Dundee, you'll pick up this album the next day and wonder what happened with those two crazy kids. Kind of sappy; absolutely gorgeous. 7/27/07
Art in Manila Set the Woods on Fire Saddle Creek 8/27/07 8/27/07      
The Nerd Parade A Delicate Bashing Headphone Treats 8/27/07        
Smile Brigade Take the Precious Edge Off this Treacherous Ledge Tilton House 8/27/07        
Dukes of Windsor The Others self release 8/27/07        
The Main Drag Yours as Fast as Mine RPL 8/27/07        
Schoolyard Heroes Abominations Stolen Transmission 8/27/07        
Chad Serhal The Last Picture Show Standard 8/27/07        
Jamie T. Panic Prevention Caroline 8/27/07        
The Gunshy There's No Love in this War Latest Flame 8/27/07        
Will King Come on in from the Cold self release 8/27/07        
Bishop Allen & the Broken String self titled Dead Oceans 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Kaz Murphy Home for Misfits self release 8/27/07        
Midtown Dickens Oh Yell! 307 Knox 8/27/07        
Drakes Hotel Tell Me Everything Reverb 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Do Make Say Think You, You're a History in Rust Constellation 8/27/07        
Cormac O Caoimh Start a Spark self release 8/27/07 8/30/07   I really wanted to like this one. I mean, the guy's from Cork, Ireland, for god's sake. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough here to make the disc memorable. Caoimh sounds like Paul Simon during the slower, quieter numbers, then turns into Chris Stamey or Tommy Keene on the power-pop ballads -- all very admirable, too bad the music is so simplistic (and isn't helped by a mix that puts Caoimh's voice too far out front). Still, he throws in a few zingers, like the line, "No one's gonna notice your tears if they fall into the sea" (from "Deep Sea Diving"), or when he pulls it back and brings it up on keeper "Running from the Raincloud." 8/31/07
various artists Americana Putumayo 8/27/07        
The Umbrella Sequence Events self release 8/27/07        
A Verse Unsung The Autumn EP Somnio 8/27/07        
Alycia Lang She Do That self release 8/27/07        
various artists New Arrivals Vol. Two MPress 8/27/07        
Mother Mother Touch Up Last Gang 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Alela Diane The Pirate's Gospel HM 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Jennifer Gentle The Midnight Room Sub Pop 8/27/07        
David Vandervelde Nothin' No Secretly Canadian 8/27/07 8/27/07      
The Pomonas Good Cop Good Cop demo 8/27/07        
The Pomonas When You're Electric self release 8/27/07        
These Modern Socks self release Princess 8/27/07        
Kyle Knapp House of Sod self release 8/27/07        
Oh! Custer self titled Series Two 8/27/07        
Susan Therese Unfailing Grace self release 8/27/07        
Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra self titled self released 8/27/07        
Testa Rosa self titled Latest Flame 8/27/07        
Maniacal Plan Casualty of Sound Dirty Smile 8/27/07        
Patrick Woods Power Fields Spin Acre 8/27/07        
Deas Vail All the Houses Look the Same Brave New World 8/27/07        
The Wedding Polarity self titled Brave New World 8/27/07        
Simpl self titled self release 8/27/07        
The Inevitable Backlash Sex for Safety Hegemony 8/27/07        
various artists Latin Jazz Putumayo 8/27/07 8/27/07      
Arbogast Too Proud to Stick to Winners self release 8/27/07        
Light Travels Faster After the Black of Baca County No Dance 8/27/07        
Oreskaband self titled Terry Dollar 8/27/07        
Guff Symphony of Voices Go Kart 8/27/07        
Mishaps Rock & Roll (7-inch) Wall Ride 8/27/07        
The Future Kings of Nowhere self titled 307 Knox 8/27/07        
Tom Stevens Home Badger 8/27/07        
Modest Mouse We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank Epic 8/27/07 8/27/07   Ah, for the days of dirty madman splendor that were Lonesome Crowded West, back when these guys could stretch out on head-case ballads like "Heart Cooks Brain" or "Styrofoam Boots/It's All Nice on Ice, Alright." Sure, "Dashboard" is a fun, kick-drum-driven dance track in a Franz Ferdinand sort of way, but do we really need another fun dance band (or even one Franz Ferdinand)? Nice knowing you, Isaac. (7/26/07)
Service Group Principals of Electronic Circuitry Squid Vs. Whale 8/27/07        
Shelf Life Ductworks Public Eyesore 8/27/07        
Yoni Extra Credit self release 8/27/07        
Dappled Cities Granddance Dangerbird 6/10/07 6/24/07      
Ocean Street self titled self release 6/10/07        
Jacob Miller Who We Are Dogleg 6/10/07        
Adam Zwig Cast Iron Letters Conscious 6/10/07 6/24/07      
Caeseer Pink and the Imperial Orgy Gospel Hymns for Agnostics and Atheists Chief Logan 6/10/07        
Emerson Hart Cigarettes and Gasoline EMI 6/10/07 6/24/07      
John Watt Higher self release 6/10/07        
Vago Over Moons and Heavy Arms self release 6/10/07        
Luke Temple Snowbeast Mill Pond 6/10/07        
Lucas Kellison Rise self release 6/10/07        
The Protoculture State of the Art self release 6/10/07        
The Original Mark Edwards The Doom Loop Princess 6/10/07 6/24/07      
Lis Carlisle Big Dreams Wildground 6/10/07        
No Blood Orphan Robertson Park Temporary Clone 6/4/07 6/4/07   On the new collection, Mike Saklar and Co. have taken their songcraft to new levels. I know that statement sounds like so much bullshit, but you know what? It's true. Take "Streets Shine of This" fer instance. With its simple backbeat melody, lush organ tones and Saklar's usual killer guitar solos, it sounds like a modernized version of an early Rolling Stones song. Saklar's voice even sports a bit of a Mick Jaggar sneer when he spits out lines like "I can see that you're drinking / I can see that you're drunk." The entire disc has a swelling ensemble appeal, very reminiscent of some of the Saddle Creek recordings, specifically Bright Eyes records. Yeah, yeah, I know. Why bother making the comparison? Believe me, it's only in the arrangements. "Heart-less Days Sun-less Nights" is a good example, especially early in the track when the bell-tone keyboards dance above the thrumbing rhythm section. Again, it's Saklar's and Bartolomei's guitars that set it apart. The guitar tone is rougher, grittier, especially when Saklar and keyboard player Chris Esterbrooks share the counter melody midway through a song that runs for nearly eight minutes without becoming boring. How long will this song go on when they're on stage tonight? I generally prefer the rockers more than the solemn ballads, like the soothing, summer-y "Apples," which reminds me of early American Music Club. Those songs do the job of breaking up the recording, adding some needed dynamics and variety, though I know the crowd may be impatient waiting for the next rock tune during their set. Underlying a number of melodies ("Streets Shine...", "Queen") is a sharp tonal quality that gives the music an almost Soviet-flavored essence, certainly a foreign edge that is both familiar and alien to typical rock music, at least from this era. At the end of the day, Robertson Park is a showcase for Saklar, his stunning guitarwork and a cast of A-list local talent drawn together behind a shared vision. (6/7/07)
Inner Bright Irridescent self release 6/10/07        
Sven-Erik Seaholm Sotto Voce Pseudocool 6/10/07        
Patient Patient Professionals and Convicts self release 6/10/07        
Cory Kibler The Silent Woods self release 6/10/07 6/10/07      
Fair to Midland self titled Universal Republic 6/10/07        
These Are Powers Silver Lung self release 6/10/07 6/10/07   See May 26 Live Review
Blake Rainey and his Demons The Dangerous Summer Two Sheds 6/10/07 6/10/07      
LKN Post Greyday 6/10/07 6/10/07      
Eric Smith Rocky Road CTA 5/5/07        
The Death of Jason Brody self-titled Loud Hearts 5/5/07        
Sullivan Cover Your Eyes Tooth & Nail 5/5/07        
The Wedding Polarity Brave New World 5/5/07        
Black Squirrels Last of the Ghost Town Gang Nectar & Venom 5/5/07 5/5/07      
Deas Vail All the Houses Look the Same Brave New World 5/5/07        
Brimstone Howl Guts of Steel Alive 5/5/07 5/5/07      
Tinko If it ain't fixed... don't break it self release 5/5/07        
Orchard of Comradery The Company Willowdale 5/5/07        
Life Long Summary self-titled self-released 5/5/07 5/5/07   Acoustic riff rock that is undeniably Midwestern, especially with in its off-kilter growling stage-rock vocals. Too derivative of the mainstream '90s grunge stuff that came before it, the trio needs to stretch past the rudimentary chords and rudimentary rhythms if they're going to find their own voice. (5/5/07)
The Little Heroes Cinematic Americana Wednesday Records 5/5/07        
Death to Anders Punctuate the Calamities self released 5/5/07 6/24/07      
Manipulator The Fall of Troy Equal Vision 5/5/07        
Leonard Cohen Songs from a Room Columbia 5/5/07 5/5/07      
The Masons Let You Down Easy 75 or Less 5/5/07        
Self-Evident self-titled Doubleplusgood 5/5/07        
David Wechsler Vacations Mekkatone 5/5/07        
Mustangs and Madras La Lechuza Latest Flame 5/5/07 6/24/07      
Steven Mark Racing Grey Basset 5/5/07        
Alex Gomez Warm Sensations self released 5/5/07        
Animal Collective People Fatcat 5/5/07 5/5/07   Experimental freak folk. Too experimental.
Cary Brothers Who You Are Bluhammock 5/5/07        
Green River Ordinance Way Back Home self released 5/5/07        
The May Fire Plastic Army Rock Whores 5/5/07 6/24/07      
Thee More Shallows Book of Bio Breaks Anticon 5/5/07 6/24/07      
Brian Adam Ant Separation Celebration self release 5/5/07        
John Ashfield Love Is Blue self release 5/5/07        
Sean Lee Two Amp Songs self release 5/5/07        
Headquarters O and O Vibratone 5/5/07 6/24/07      
Young Galaxy self titled Arts & Crafts 5/5/07 5/5/07      
M. Timony Band The Shapes We Make Kill Rock Stars 5/5/07 5/5/07      
Coyote Bones Gentleman on the Rocks CoCo Art 4/6/07 4/6/07 5/16/07 See May 16 Lazy-i Profile
The Henry Clay People Blacklist the Kid with the Red Moustache self-released 4/6/07        
Parker Longbough Commander Comatose Wilderhood 4/6/07 6/24/07   Sometimes almost purposely wonky, you could call it low-fi except that the recording sounds too good. So do most of the songs. If I had to compare him to anyone it would probably be Sebadoh or early, folkie, Loser-era Beck (especially on the slacker mantra "Swimming in My Mind" and jangle-noise epic "Brodawg Deal" and actually, just about all the tracks). It feels homemade and made up, and Longbough figures out a way to bring new ideas and misdirection to a typical indie-folk dinner party. Did I mention he's from Anchorage, Alaska? Does it matter? 9/5/07
The Winter Sounds Porcelain Empire Livewire 4/6/07 6/24/07      
Snatches of Pink Love Is Dead 8th House 4/6/07        
Harley Poe The Dead and the Naked self-release 4/6/07        
Skulltime self-titled Latest Flame 4/6/07        
Protest Hill The City Echoes Our Hearts Latest Flame 4/6/07        
The Transmissions Burning the Winner self-released 4/6/07        
*Sons Viracochas Fractured 4/6/07 8/31/07   Chapel Hill gang fancies themselves as a modernized version of Swervedriver, and for the most part, fit the bill, thanks to droning guitars, heavily delayed vocals and a drunken swagger that verges closely on psychedelic drug rock. It's hard to deny killer guitar riffs like those heard on wall-of-sound rave-ups "Kill the Culprit" and "White Noise." That said, I left these six tracks thinking Brian Jonestown Massacre meets Pink Mountaintops, and how wise they were to keep it at only six songs. 9/3/07
Junior Boys The Dead Horse EP Domino 4/6/07 4/6/07   Read the April 26 Lazy-i interview with Junior Boys.
Bright Eyes Cassadaga Saddle Creek 4/6/07 4/6/07 Read the April 5 Lazy-i interview with Bright Eyes.


Yeah, you already know all about it. But three months after its release it bears revisiting. It's still not as good as Wide Awake or Lifted, but it's growing on me the more I isolate the songs from the over-the-top production. Rumor has it that Conor may be stripping the sound down on the next one. It could be a revelation (or a naked emperor's curse). 7/27/07

Matt Lutz Seesaw Undetected Plagiarism 4/6/07        
Janey Todd Rusty Water Head Shop 4/6/07        
Charlie Beresford The Room Is Empty self-released 4/6/07        
Subatomic Pieces Hold Out for Science self-released 4/6/07        
Star Devastator Lovely Rebel 4/6/07 6/24/07      
Johnnieboy self-titled Head Shop 4/6/07        
Kilion and Mahlon self-titled self-released 4/6/07        
LynnMarie & the Boxhounds Party Dress Squeeze 4/6/07        
Malassis Birds Like Bricks Spaff 4/6/07        
Apostle of Hustle National Anthem of Nowhere

Arts & Crafts

4/6/07 6/24/07      
George Korien Too Many Days G 4/6/07        
This Alibi self-titled self-released 4/6/07        
Hotpipes self-titled self-released 4/6/07        
Les Sans Culottes Le Weekender Vibratone 4/6/07        
Jamie Sherwood Songs from the Lab self-released 4/6/07        
This Is Me Smiling Advance Red Ink 4/6/07 4/6/07      
The Red Buttons She's About to Cross My Mind self-release 4/6/07        
Dave Mehling How Do I Make You Lonesome? self-release 4/6/07        
Oreskaband self-titled Terry Dollar 4/6/07        
The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horses Jagjaguwar 4/6/07 4/6/07      
Lisi Damn It Public Eyesore 4/6/07        
Patchwork Worry and Worry self-released 4/6/07        
Unsparing Sea EP self-released 4/6/07        
Mighty Fairly Perfectly Good Airplanes self-released 4/6/07        
Elevado This World Is On Fire ISP 4/6/07        
The Horrors Strange House Stolen Transmission 4/6/07        
Hydronika self-titled self-released 4/6/07        
History at Our Disposal Symbols in the Architecture Creative Capitalism 4/6/07        
Fate of Angels The Morning Light Fuselage 2/10/07      
Maria Taylor Lynn Teeter Flower Saddle Creek 2/10/07 2/20/07 Published April 6. See full review, here.
Judd Starr Luminescent Capacity 2/10/07        
The October ...Bye Bye Beautiful Spark Gun 2/4/07 2/4/07      
Explosions in the Sky All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone Temporary Residence 2/4/07 2/4/07      
Lavender Diamond The Cavalry of Light Matador 2/4/07 2/4/07      
Mewithoutyou Brother, Sister Tooth & Nail 2/4/07 2/4/07      
Love of Diagrams self titled EP Matador 2/4/07 2/4/07      
The Nyquist Frequency Elephant Art Ubique 2/4/07        
Erie Choir Slighter Awake Sit-n-Spin 2/4/07        
Electric Needle Room Trying to Escape the Bigotry self release 2/4/07 2/4/07      
Robot, Creep Closer She Beeps Larry Linden 2/4/07        
SoTHEN Lookatchurself Reggie Measuresworth self release 2/4/07 2/7/07  

If you can remember the early '90s, then you already have a good grasp on what this album sounds like. Jangling and often inappropriate guitar
riffs over roots-rock bass with trash drums. Add in some raspy vocals that follow basically the same melody for every song. These guys remind me
of a rehash of Bush. Ugh. Rating: No -- Brendan Greene-Walsh

Tim Sez: Oh it's not that bad (except for maybe "Surprise," which features some creepy spoken lines). Frontman Jonathan Townes sounds like he grew up with Pearl Jam, Bob Mould, Foo Fighters and a slew of grunge and post-grunge bands. Yeah, there are obvious '90s overtones throughout the whole disc, which is good or bad depending on your memories of that era. I don't hate it, but there's not enough here creatively to recommend it. Rating: No

Will Thompson self titled Alarmist 2/4/07        
David Silverman The Kids Don't Care self release 2/4/07        
The Love Me Nots In Black & White Atomic A Go Go 2/4/07 2/4/07      
Arthur Dodge The Perfect Face Remedy 2/4/07 2/7/07      
The Slats Boom Patrol Latest Flame 2/4/07 2/7/07      
The Photo Atlas No, Not Me, Never Morning After 2/4/07 2/7/07      
Adam Weaver & The Ghosts Places We Were, Places We're Not Art and Commerce 2/4/07 2/7/07      
Mad Happy Frankenprophecy Mutiny Zoo 2/4/07 2/4/07      
The Happy Hollows Bunnies & Bombs self released 2/4/07 2/4/07      
The Trick Pony Phantom Pains EP self released 2/4/07        
Detachment Kit self titled self released 2/4/07        
The Minstrels Our Cruel Demise Klem North 2/4/07        
Oblio Create the Night Pt. 1 Casino 2/4/07        
Dear and Glorious Physician Dear and Glorious Physician New Granada 2/4/07 2/7/07      
Argo Attack of the Firebots Ana-Them 2/4/07        
Unlucky Atlas self titled self released 2/4/07 6/24/07      
Proud Simon Shoestring Universe self-released 2/4/07        
Rob Crow Living Well Temporary Residence 2/4/07        
The Size Queens Is It In Yet? self released 2/4/07 2/4/07      
Tyler Arnold Headless Acrobat EP self released 2/4/07        
Matt & Kim self titled IHeartComix 2/4/07 2/7/07  
This debut is pure fun, and by that, I mean that you can tell that this duo truly had a good time making their music. They combine layers of synths and drums, and the result is both catchy and dance-y (hence the "fun" aspect). It's straightforward, and that by itself is to be applauded. Running slightly under 30 minutes, it never wears thin. The third track, "Yea Yeah," is a standout, with a chorus that forces you to sing along. Rating: Yes -- Brendan Greene-Walsh
Tim Sez: One of the better releases of '06, it's still a bit too quirky for my taste, but the Brooklyn duo more than make up for it with their tunefulness. Rating: Yes 8/30/07
Heroes & Villiains Play Themes from the Dark Pink Circus X! 2/4/07        
Citizen's Band Anatomy Jetpack 2/4/07 2/7/07      
Building 6 Record 1 Vague Moon 2/4/07        
Ada Jane Never Been Better Paw 2/4/07        
Clemente ...Whilst Honey Hums Moodswing 2/4/07        
Hello Operator self titled EP self released 2/4/07        
Bloody & The Transfusions self titled self released 2/4/07        
31 Knots The Days and Nights of Everything Anywhere Polyvinyl 2/4/07 2/7/07      
Little Brazil Tighten the Noose Mt. Fuji 2/4/07 2/7/07   Read the March 21 Lazy-i Interview with Little Brazil.
Loren Dent Empires and Milk Contract Killers 2/4/07        
Saturna ...All Night self released 2/4/07 2/7/07      
Minmae 835 Greyday 2/4/07 2/7/07  
I really struggled with this review. Portland's Minmae combines a ton of talent and musical background, coupled with too much of an artistic attempt at making a record. The product is disjointed, and lacks continuity. The first, rather long track relies on drone-heavy guitar, white noise and random static. The rest of the album rarely strays from that formula. The disc is basically a compilation of 14 "ideas" that the band attempted to translate into songs instead of actually writing a song. Rating: No -- Brendan Greene-Walsh
Tim Sez: Rating: No. 8/30/07
Kingsbury The Great Compromise Post 2/4/07 2/4/07      
The Jennifer Echo Be Dangerous on Rock Guitar Jumping Jupiter 2/4/07        
The Golden Year Distances Green Grotto 2/4/07        
Constant Velocity Self titled self released 2/4/07        
Owen A Break from Myself Miltona 2/4/07        
Ryan Parmenter The Noble Knave Split Difference 2/4/07        
The Nein Luxury Sonic Unyon 2/4/07 2/4/07      
The Dark Romantics Some Midnight Kissin' Lujo 2/4/07 2/4/07      
Kurt Adam The Demos. Act One. self released 2/4/07        
Kapakahi Twisted, Bent & Confused self released 2/4/07        
Fabonacci The Exits EP Needle in the groove 2/4/07 2/4/07      
Raj Rasa Center Circle: Northeast Green Grotto 2/4/07        
Relative The Progress of Stagnation IMR 2/4/07        
Signal Hill Transmission On Empty Space P.A. Juice 2/4/07 6/24/07      
Sara Softich Pipe Dream self released 2/4/07        
various artists Beaner's Central - One Week Live III self released 2/4/07        
various artists A Situation Like This A Situation 2/4/07 2/4/07      
Solution Habitat Aquarium 2/4/07        
Ponieheart/Crane Orchard split Touch to Love/Spread Your Lies Whole-heartedly Nowhere 2/4/07        
Cake on Cake I Guess I Was Daydreaming Desolation 2/4/07        
Daytime Volume The Day We Transposed Expunged 2/4/07        
Ed Gray The Late Gray Ed Great Hot Potato 11/1/06 11/1/06 Gray is something of a legend in the low-fi folk circuit. His first serious recordings involved John Crawford (Head of Femur, Grey Ghost), violinist Tiffany Kowalski (Lullaby for the Working Class, Mayday, Shelley Short), and producer Alex McManus (The Bruces, Bright Eyes). On his new record, Gray plays with a crapload of Omaha musicians that are usually seen orbiting around Simon Joyner. It's a folkie treat in a style that is right at home with Simon and Outlaw Con Bandana. 11/21/06
The Slip Eisenhower Bar/None 11/1/06 11/1/06   See feature Nov. 17 feature
Jay Bennett The Magnificent Defeat Rykodisc 11/1/06 11/2/06      
Joanna Newsom Ys Drag City 11/1/06 11/1/06   Her child-like voice has been compared to everyone from Kate Bush to Lisa Simpson. I fancy it as a quirky cross between Latka Gravis' wife Simka on "Taxi" (played by Carol Kane) and Melanie (who sang "Brand New Key"). Even more unique than her voice, however, is her instrument of choice, a full-sized harp just like the kind you've heard in orchestras or will hear at the pearly gates (if you've been good). On her new five-song, 55-minute EP, Ys (pronounced "ees"), Newsom coos, howls, shrieks and cheeps in all her baroque glory, backed by her gentle, bouncing harp and a whole slew of strings, woodwinds and brass. It's weird, wonderful and mysterious, like the soundtrack to your last puffy-clouded dream. Still, despite the hype, I struggled to get through the CD in one sitting, and never went back to it afterward. 11/6/06
Acid King III Small Stone 11/1/06        
Justin Beckler Oh! My Troubled Mind self release 11/1/06        
System and Station Here Is Now Latest Flame 11/1/06        
Coho Things Change Lujo 11/1/06        
Caroline Vinciguerra Bored Gorgeous Speedboy 11/1/06        
The Comfies Close to Me Livewire 11/1/06        
The End of the World Youre Making It Come Alive Flameshovel 11/1/06 11/1/06      
Unknown Instructors The Way Things Work Smog Veil 11/1/06        
Safe Home The Wide Wide World and All We Know Now Here 11/1/06        
Peter Loveday Moving Along Middle of the Road 11/1/06        
Exit Clov Respond Respond Livewire 11/1/06        
Unexpect In a Flash The End 11/1/06        
Chavez Better Days Will Haunt You Matador 11/1/06 11/1/06   Outside of, say, The Pixies and Nirvana, Chavez could be the most influential band of the '90s, having designed and implemented a style and sound that was stolen by every mathy post-punk band after them (At the Drive-in comes to mind). Now their legacy has been compiled on a reissue that contains a DVD document of the era that they helped create. A must-have for any fan of modern-day post-punk. 2/4/07
Johnny Parry Songs Without a Purpose Lost Toy 11/1/06        
Blue Skies for Black Hearts Love Is Not Enough King of Hearts 11/1/06        
Other Desert Cities On the Verge of Collapsing Velvet Blue 11/1/06        
Ellen Cherry Years Wrong Size Shoes 11/1/06        
Dead Voices on the Air From Labrador to Madagascar Invisible 11/1/06        
Speaker Fire Audio Alchemy Piermont 11/1/06        
Guster Ganging Up on the Sun Warners 11/1/06     See Oct. 26 feature story.
Voxtrot Your Biggest Fan Playloud 11/1/06        
Stylex Tight Scrapes Pretend 11/1/06        
Jeremy Messersmith The Alcatraz Kid self release 11/1/06        
The May Fire Right and Wrong self release 11/1/06        
Bon Savants Post Rock Defends the Nation self release 11/1/06        
Kim Taylor I Feel Like a Fading Light self release 11/1/06        
various artists Plague Songs 4AD/artangel 11/1/06        
Celebration Celebration 4AD 11/1/06 11/1/06      
Lungs of a Giant Headfirst Handshakes self release 11/1/06        
Archaeology Chant Chant Chant self release 11/1/06        
Scott Severin Unknown Rider self release 11/1/06 11/1/06      
Beck The Information Interscope 11/1/06 11/1/06   His best effort since Mellow Gold. 'Nuff said. 12/28/06
Shelter Belt Under the World Awhile self release 11/1/06 11/1/06   Maybe the biggest surprise so far in a year desperately in need of some surprises, Under the World… is a giant leap forward for a band that could easily have been written off after 2004's overly long cheese factory called Rain Home. This time, frontman/vocalist Jesse Otto loses any and all comparison to Kenny Loggins, purposely throttling back his vocals so as to not get in the way of songs that reflect a sound that's more modern than anything they've tried before. You could argue that tracks like the hand-clap-powered "Dry" and Timberlake-esque "So Sweet (I Have to Dance to Keep You Crying)" too obviously target radio except for the fact that these guys know they'll never make it to nationwide FM without a miracle (though FM could do (and almost always does) much, much worse).11/2/05
Bright Eyes Noise Floor (Rarities...) Saddle Creek 11/1/06 11/1/06   This compilation of junk drawer b-sides, limited-pressing EPs, unreleased tracks and other obscura is worth it (to me, anyway) if only for rereleasing "Drunk Kid Catholic" -- a song that reminds me of my favorite live BE moment from spring of 2001 when Conor and crew opened for Low at Knickerbocker's. Originally released as a UK single, I've only found this track as an illegal download. Now I'm legit. Add to that the inclusion of his Britt Daniel collaboration "Spent on Rainy Days" from the split EP Home, which, before it was reissued by Post Parlo, was going for a pretty penny on e-Bay, along with just about every other out-of-print Bright Eyes rarity. Thematically, all this old stuff (though, thankfully, nothing released before '99) dwells heavily on drinking and women and the pain that comes with both. In the end, the rocking tracks out-gun the teary acoustic numbers (but isn't that always the way?). So yeah, it's a no-brainer for Bright Eyes fans, but taken as a whole, the collection stands up with the best of his stuff. Now when is Saddle Creek going to rerelease that Water cassette? 11/2/06
Matthew Clay Eat Cake! Freakin' 9/28/06        
Peter Loveday Moving Along Middle of the Road 9/28/06 9/28/06      
Black Squirrels self titled self release 9/16/06 9/16/06   Live Review 9/14/06
Saso The Middle Ages Melted Snow 9/16/06        
The Clean Prophets Praise Is Poison Tuff Penguin 9/16/06        
The Evening Episode The Physicist Has Known Sin Slowdance 9/16/06 9/16/06      
Stacy Rock One Way Home self released 9/16/06        
Jack Tunk The Life & Times of Chengwin KOA 9/16/06        
Hyannis self titled self released 9/16/06 9/16/06   It seems appropriate to follow Oberst and Joyner with a band that surely was influenced by both, though they may not know it. No question that these youngsters are a product of the Omaha indie scene circa now. Acoustic songs like "Ronnie" and "People Just Love" have that same acoustic hippy lilt that we've come to know from Neva Dinova, whereas "Timeline" and "Colorado" are pure modern-day Bright Eyes (without the lyrical depth). But maybe more than the usual club of Omaha indie scenesters, Hyannis recalls an aesthetic more in common with early Pink Floyd and Haight-Ashbury psychedelic rock that precludes their existence by, oh I don't know, a couple decades. With 13 tracks and over 40 minutes, it may be a tad bit too ambitions for a debut (which is a nice way of saying that it gets kind of boring toward the end). Are they the next generation of Omaha indie? Time will tell. 11/2/06
Virgin Passages Mandalay Fire 9/16/06 9/16/06      
Benevento/ Russo Duo >=0 Butter Problems 9/16/06 9/16/06      
Jon Crocker Death. Greydawn 9/16/06 9/16/06      
Griddle Klimty Favela Your Permenant 9/16/06        
The Sadies Tales of the Rat Fink (soundtrack) Yep Roc 9/16/06        
The Sunshine Will The Escapist self-release 9/16/06        
Dan Sartain Join Dan Sartain Swami 9/16/06        
Andy Logan Ride Koan 9/16/06        
Bonnie Prince Billy The Letting Go Drag City 9/16/06 9/16/06      
The Heathens Big White Horse Post 9/16/06        
Motion Commotion self titles Piermont 9/16/06 9/27/06 I will say these New Yorkers are ambitious, and talented, and not afraid to throw in some gorgeous instruments that add gravitas to what would be run-of-the-mill rock songs ("Sunshine," "Make Love"). Still, there's an overall wonkiness about the EP that makes it difficult. Too many ephemeral noises and proggy oddities get in the way of the delicate moments, like the piano / violin / clarinet instrumental "Motion" that sounds like it came off an indie film score. And Brendan's right, the final song was a mistake. 1/23/07
Hot Young Priest Fiendish Freaky Love Two Sheds 9/16/06 9/27/06      
An Epic at Best There Will be Rain Two Sheds 9/16/06 9/16/06      
Everything Absent or Distorted The Soft Civil War Needlepoint 9/16/06 9/27/06 I don't know about "plodding." I'll say this: They know how to play melodic '90s indie rock, sounding at times like they spent too much time with their Echo and the Bunnymen discs (when they weren't playing their Pixies records). They've been compared to Elephant Six bands, and I can hear it, especially Neutral Milk Hotel on the songs that sport the most intricate arrangements ("Burial of Yards and Docks," "Buried in Guitar") which feature the occasional horn part. Other than that, they don't have that sense of nostalgia that characterizes most other Elephant Six bands (and which I generally don't like) They're at their best when they leave their earnestness locked up and let the groove take over. 1/10/07
The Heartstring Band Aurora Songs Vol. 1 self release 9/16/06        
Ellie Come Home Primary Sources Emergency Umbrella 9/16/06 9/16/06   It's pretty, maybe too pretty, what with all its strings and keyboards and influences ranging from Yo La Tengo to The Beatles. Missing in the mix are solid, memorable melodies. But then again, maybe they don't want you to sing along. Almost orchestral in scope, this is good, dense background music that at times breaks through with an idea or movement that will, indeed, stick with you. 4/7/07
American Watercolor Movement It Takes Fifteen to Tango... self release 9/16/06 9/27/06 Clearly an homage to Eno, these guys also throw in a little Prodigy and PiL to their brand of electronic proto-punk dance music. The CD's experience is summed up on the opening tracks. The title, when frontman Jason Cieradowski does an earnest speak-talk shtick, is pure PiL Johnny Rotten. When he actually sings, like on "Flowers for Catalan," he sounds like Peter Gabriel backed by guitars and rhythms lifted off early Gabriel records. Sound good? Then you might really dig this disc, and in fact, I liked it enough to recommend it even with its considerable drawbacks -- a little of Cieradowski's whimpering goes a long way and becomes tedious as early as the fourth track. And then there's the muddy mix. Still, interesting programming and smart dance rhythms derived from Eno make it worth a spin. 1/9/07
Perfect Red Rebuild the Afterworld self release 9/16/06 9/27/06      
Pure Reason Revolution The Dark Third One Haven/Red 9/16/06        
Form of Rocket Men Sickroom 9/16/06        
Jim Jacobi In Strip Mall Land self release 9/16/06        
Pelle Carlberg Everything.Now! Twentyseven 9/16/06 9/27/06      
Kingfield Letters Post Mortem Blue Worm 9/16/06        
Richard Buckner Meadow Merge 9/16/06 9/16/06      
Under Byen SammeStof Som Stof Paper Bag 9/16/06        
Lloyd Cole Antidepressant One Little Indian 9/16/06 9/16/06      
Langhorne Slim Engine EP V2 9/16/06 9/16/06      
Bound Stems Appreciation Night Flameshovel 9/16/06 9/16/06      
Califone Roots & Crowns Thrilljockey 9/16/06 9/16/06      
Simon Joyner and the Fallen Men Skeleton Blues Jagjaguwar 9/16/06 9/16/06   Maybe the biggest surprise so far in a year desperately in need of some surprises, Under the World… is a giant leap forward for a band that could easily have been written off after 2004's overly long cheese factory called Rain Home. This time, frontman/vocalist Jesse Otto loses any and all comparison to Kenny Loggins, purposely throttling back his vocals so as to not get in the way of songs that reflect a sound that's more modern than anything they've tried before. You could argue that tracks like the hand-clap-powered "Dry" and Timberlake-esque "So Sweet (I Have to Dance to Keep You Crying)" too obviously target radio except for the fact that these guys know they'll never make it to nationwide FM without a miracle (though FM could do (and almost always does) much, much worse).11/2/06
The Vulcan Freedom Fighters Stardate Unknown self-release 9/16/06        
Jule Brown Smoke & Mirrors Enabler 8/13/06        
Mark McAdam Cavalcade March 90 8/13/06        
Adam Green Jacket Full of Danger Rough Trade 8/13/06        
The Tyde Three's Co. Rough Trade 8/13/06        
Lola Ray Liars Benevolent 8/13/06 8/13/06      
Nic Garcia The Desperate Ones Yer Bird 8/13/06        
All City Affairs Bees Lujo 8/13/06        
Jon Garcia self-titled self released 8/13/06        
Giant Squid Metridium Fields The End 8/13/06        
Someday Stories 4-song EP self released 8/13/06 8/13/06   See Aug. 16 column.
Minutes Too Farl Let It Roll Doghouse 8/13/06        
Echo Helstrom The Veil self release 8/13/06        
Babyshambles B Sides Rough Trade 8/13/06 8/13/06    
The Drugstore Cowboys Chapter 3006 Lujo 8/13/06        
Jeffrey and Jack Lewis City & Eastern Songs Rough Trade 8/13/06        
Shinyville No Sleep till Babylon Public Eyesore 8/13/06 8/13/06   See Aug. 23 profile.  
Everythingends Chasing the Everafter self release 8/13/06        
Redstart So Far from Over self release 8/13/06        
Patrick Porter Die Wandaland Greyday 8/13/06 8/13/06      
Duke Fame Too Proud to Practice Geeves 8/13/06        
Peter Toh Shoes of a Beast Hidden Track 8/13/06        
Hold for Swank This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things self-release 8/13/06        
International Pen Pal Brand New Favorite Songs Recently Declassified 8/13/06        
Motion Picture Demise Zip.Boom.Hah Orange Peal 8/13/06        
Ladyfinger (NE) Heavy Hands Saddle Creek 7/26/06 7/26/06   See 9/20/06 interview/feature
Mike Nicolai God Fatigue in the Post Atom Age Electone 7/26/06        
The Distants Broken Gold Blue Cave 7/26/06        
Ladyhawk self titled Jagjaguwar 7/17/06 7/17/06   Ladyhawk is more of the same, only louder, with more electricity thrown in the mix, kind of reminds me of Swearing at Motorists. "Teenage Love Song," off their self-titled Jagjaguwar debut, sounds like Silkworm doing a Richard Thompson song with an extra helping of anguish. 7/25/06
Magnolia Electric Co. Fading Trails Jagjaguwar 7/17/06     I'm thinking dusty Crazy Horse-era Neil Young sung by Roy Orbison. Simple boom-chuck rhythms, nice piano, glowing pedal-steel rise. Laid-back, mid-tempo, rural songs about regret and similar such things. If you don't know it, MEC is Jason Molina's Songs: Ohia, renamed back in '03. Molina has worked in the past with producer Mike Mogis and has grown a sizable national following. 7/25/06
The Sadies In Concert Vol. 1 Yep Roc 7/17/06 7/17/06      
Mutemath self-titled Teleprompt 7/17/06 2/7/07  
Jeesh. When I first listened to this CD, I thought I was in for a treat. The intro was captivating -- a minute-plus change that rested on a strong beat. Then the actual album began. What I had experienced on the first track was washed away by weak chord progressions and horrible pop-influenced vocals. The production is slick and well-recorded, as you'd expect from a band with huge financial backing. Aside from that, it's a watered down, mainstream attempt that came out as garbage -- wet, smelly garbage. Rating: No -- Brendan Greene-Walsh
Tim Sez: One of the reasons why I have an intern. Rating: No. 8/30/07
Vulturines Fowl Language Greydawn 7/17/06        
Electric Lights Flashing Very Fast Let There Be Lights Cult Hero 7/17/06        
Butch Walker and the Lets-Go-Out-Tonights The Rise and Fall of... Epic 7/17/06 7/26/06 The opening line to the band's theme song says it all: "I'm tired, I'm bored, Where's the cocaine?" Walker sounds like a '70s rock vaudevillian stuck between gigs with Sweet and Nick Gilder. Sure, he's a braggart, a boaster, a bullshitter. What Brendan doesn't understand is that a certain amount of rock cocksmanship is not only expected if you're going to plow this sort of ground, it's required. It won't work without it. Especially if you're going to do songs like "Bethamphetamine" (You're pretty strung out for a girl). And "Hot Girls in Good Moods" (My love is just a teen-age bullet belt). The complete lack of effort to update the songwriting style (Is that a cushion of strings on the stereotypical schlock ballad "Dominoes"?) makes it an homage to an era best remembered for its muscle cars. Is it cheeseball? It sure is, and I don't mind at all. 9/27/06
HUMA We Are Hear For You Cult Hero 7/17/06 7/26/06      
Justin Glanville Blue Stars Near 7/17/06        
Yip-Yip In the Reptile House S.A.F. 7/17/06 2/10/07  
Beep bloop beep beep blop click boop click click? That's about all I took away from listening to something that's about as appealing as reading binary coding on a computer screen. The vocals are sparse and the majority of the album depends on speeding up and slowing down the tempo of the techno-electronica-industrial dribble. Rating: No -- Brendan Greene-Walsh
Tim Sez -- Give them credit for creativity. Unfortunately, that doesn't make it any more listenable. Sorry Darren. Rating: No 8/30/07
The Hourly Radio History Will Never Hold Me Kirtland 7/17/06        
Kinnie Starr Anything Violet Inch 7/17/06        
Lollygag I Thought You Were Driving Bent 7/17/06        
Lagoon Graduation self-release 7/17/06        
VCR Power Destiny SideOne Dummy 7/17/06 7/26/06      
Diastole Escalade Cause 7/17/06        
The Ebb and Flow Here Are Caught self-release 7/17/06        
Theta Naught/Alex Caldiero Sound Weave Differential 7/17/06        
Shane Bartell Too Soon to Say Sarathan 7/17/06 8/13/06   Reissue, originally reviewed 7/28/04. Reminds me a whole lot of watered down Love Story-era Lloyd Cole (thanks to the sometimes orchestration), which by itself wouldn't be a bad thing ("Don't Believe Anything" is the Cole-ist of the bunch, and the best). But it lacks Lloyd's lyrical intelligence, instead being content giving us pretty albiet uninspired moments clearly targeted toward your FM dial. Pretty, dreamy pop fluff.
Eric Hisaw The Crosses Saustex 7/17/06        
Yesan Damen The Never Beginning Story New Wine 7/17/06        
Pet Shop Boys Fundamental Rhino 7/17/06 7/17/06 See July 27 column.  
Envy Insomnaic Doze Temporary Residence 7/17/06        
In Flight Radio self titled Last Broadcast 7/17/06        
Jason Choi Leave the Night Behind Team Grizzly 7/17/06        
Frank Black Fast Man Raider Man Back Porch 7/17/06 7/26/06 See July 27 column.  
The Sun-Ups The View from Above self release 7/17/06 7/26/06      
Darling New Neighbors self-titled self release 7/17/06        
Now It's Overhead Dark Light Daybreak Saddle Creek 6/20/06 6/20/06 See July 27 column.  
Eric Bachmann To the Races Saddle Creek 6/20/06 6/20/06


Fallpian Dammit, Eat Your Pudding Avebury 6/20/06        
The Studiofix Will Change Your Life Avebury 6/20/06        
White Whale WWI Merge 6/20/06 7/26/06   See Sept. 13 profile
Junior Boys So This Is Goodbye Domino 6/20/06 7/26/06      
The Rosewood Thieves From the Decker House V2 6/20/06 6/20/06 See July 27 column.  
Slow Motion Reign self titled Serjical Strike 6/20/06        
Cursive Happy Hollow Saddle Creek 6/11/06 6/20/06 See June 29 column.

See July 12 feature story.

Te If that is what is being thought. Status Quo 6/11/06        
Jair Dynast v.i.a.l.e.n.c.e. eMultimedia 6/11/06        
Sub Rosa Slings and Arrows Blue Rose 6/11/06 6/20/06   Reminds me at times of Suzanne Vega (especially on the chiming charmer "Ever Wonder" that sounds like it came off her debut) mashed with every female-fronted mid-tempo folkie who made the scene in the late '90s. Yeah, there's more than a little Sarah McLachlan vibe (note the Sarah-style harmonies on "Desert," "Sirens"), which I can do without. Front woman Jennifer Boeder knows how to make a lush, melancholy song, but still needs to find a way to differentiate her sound from all the other Lilith Fair sirens who tired us of this style when the festival was still going on. Perhaps the problem is the production, which is over-the-top and covers up the real melodies. Simpler would be better… maybe next time. 8/13/06
Carey Ott Lucide Dream Dualtone 6/11/06        
Puffy Amiyumi Splurge Tofu 6/11/06 8/13/06      
Thee Emergency Can You Dig It? Blueguise 6/11/06 2/7/07      
Pure Reason Revolution The Dark Third One Haven 6/11/06        
Ben Averch Washington State Automatic Earth 6/11/06        
Matt Keating Summer Tonight self release 6/11/06        
The Lonesome Heroes Don't Play to Lose Floodwater 6/11/06        
Sneaky Theives Accident(s) self release 6/11/06        
Golden Bear self-titled C-Side 6/11/06 8/13/06      
Soundpool On High Aloft 6/11/06        
The Channel Tales from the Two Hill Heart/Sibylline Machine C-Side 6/8/06 6/8/06 7/20/06 Do we have Conor to blame for all these double-discs these days? This is the third one I've received in the past couple weeks, two of which came from unknown bands. Used to be the argument was over whether to put out an EP or a full length -- now it's between putting out a single or a double disc. No one knows who you are, folks. Why submit strangers to this much material? Edit, goddamit! My vote always will be for releasing a single CD, and if you're a new band, an EP. I don't need to hear 23 songs that sound oh so similar. And that's what you get here with Austin's The Channel. When you have a style that relies so heavily on recent Of Montreal and Shins, a little goes a long way. Twenty minutes worth? Sure. Over an an hour? Uh, no. 7/20/06 Yes/No
SSM self titled Alive 5/29/06        
Breanna Lynn Siren Black Onyx 5/29/06 5/29/06    
Filthy White Trash Free Ride self release 5/29/06        
various artists Bastards of Young - DVD Image 5/29/06        
Jet Lag Gemini Business Doghouse 5/29/06        
More Animals of the Arctic An Appendix of Whaling Terms Standard 5/29/06        
The Coma Recovery Drown that Holy End in Wine Failed Equipment 5/29/06        
Tilly and the Wall Bottoms of Barrels Team Love 5/27/06 5/27/06   See May 31 Feature Story
Towers of London Blood Sweat and Towers TVT 5/27/06 5/27/06 See July 27 column.  
Rye Coalition Curses Gern Blandsten 5/27/06 5/27/06 See July 27 column.  
The Rogers Sisters The Invisible Deck Too Pure 5/27/06 5/27/06      
Giant Drag Hearts and Unicorns Kickball 5/27/06 5/27/06   Live Review 5/3/06.
The Places Fawns with Fangs High Plains Sigh 5/27/06 5/27/06      
Paul Simon Surprise Warner Bros. 5/27/06 5/27/06 See July 27 column.  
Drag the River It's Crazy Suburban Home 5/27/06 5/27/06      
Whirlwind Heat Types of Wood Brille 5/27/06        
Deadstring Brothers Starving Winter Report Bloodshot 5/27/06        
The Press The Red Comes Ringin' Goodnight 5/27/06        
Les Claypool Of Whales and Woe Prawn Song 5/27/06        
Deadbolt I Should Have Killed You... Headhunter 5/27/06        
The Dead Pets The Revenge of the Village Idiots self-release 5/27/06        
Hot One self-titled self-release 5/27/06        
various artists Paupers, Peasants, Princes & Kings (Dylan Tribute) Doghouse 5/6/06        
Head Like a Kite Random Portraits of the Home Movie Patter 25 5/6/06 5/27/06 7/11/06 "Your Butt Crack Smile" is pure Goo-era Sonic Youth meets Kraftwerk with Sonic Youth winning out. The SY comparisons continue on the laid-back, mumbly "A Dime and A Cigarette." They shift back into Kraftwerk gear for "Interested in Worms?" Do you see a pattern here? I didn't. For the most part, the short instrumentals are filler or placeholders, while the vocal tracks are sneering SY-influenced mid-tempo indie rockers. Not bad, but not enough to keep me interested. Yes/No
Robyn G Shiels Playing Hosts to Ideas (single) No Dancing 5/6/06        
Bill Madden Gone Mad Muse 5/6/06        
Herb Eimerman Just Barely Famous Jam 5/6/06        
Chevreuil Capoeira Sick Room 5/6/06        
The Chambermaids self titled Modern Radio 5/6/06        
Malachi Constant Pride Modern Radio 5/6/06        
Cave Deaths Glacier on Fire Modern Radio 5/6/06        
First Punic War Unicorn 7" Carthage Vs Rome 5/6/06        
Driven by Arms Guiltmaker Kiss of Death 5/6/06        
Slow Learner In Their Time They Are Magnificent self release 5/6/06        
Paul Schneider Forever Debts Semaphore 4/15/06 4/16/06      
Holiday Fashionably Late self release 4/15/06 4/16/06   Good time music heard at frat houses across the Twin Cities area and likely coming to a radio station near you.
Russian Circles Enter Flameshovel 4/15/06 4/16/06      
The Cardinal Sin Hurry Up and Wait Grey Flight 4/15/06        
Celebrity Mining for Twilight Doghouse America 4/10/06        
Gabe Cahill 1,000 Nightbirds Ant Hill 4/10/06        
Nik Sorak Waiting for the Sun Freakin' 4/10/06        
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Show Your Bones Interscope 4/7/06 4/7/06   See 4/12/06 feature
Gomez How We Operate ATO 4/7/06 4/10/06      
Pretty Girls Make Graves Elan Vital Matador 4/7/06 4/7/06   See 4/26/06 feature
N0 Things Trees self release 4/7/06 4/7/06   See April 5 live review
The Pomonas When Your Electric (Demos) self release 4/7/06        
The Foundry Field Recordings Prompts/Miscues Emergency Umbrella 4/7/06        
Bald Eagle Bacon and Eggs, Dear Emergency Umbrella 4/7/06        
Jeff Merchant Window Rolled Down True Classical 4/7/06        
Cougars Pillow Talk Go Kart 4/7/06 5/27/06      
Donald Fagen Morph the Cat Reprise 4/2/06 4/2/06 April 6, 2006 column I don't want to hear how "uncool" it is to like Fagen and Steely Dan. Few people write smarter, snarkier lyrics, and even fewer can make them bounce with such infectious ease. (4/6/06)
Headlights The Enemies EP Polyvinyl 4/1/06 4/1/06 April 6, 2006 column Another Death Cab-influenced band. This one's better than most.
Hayley Taylor Waking self release 4/1/06 4/2/06 April 6, 2006 column Like Jenny Lewis (whose music her music resembles) she's another TV veteran (Sabrina, ER) turned musician. Produced by A.J. Mogis. (4/6/06)
Evermore Dreams EastWest 4/1/06 4/1/06      
Gus Black Autumn Days Cheap Lullaby 4/1/06        
Cities self titled Yep Rock 4/1/06 4/1/06      
Minmae Le Grand Essor de la Maison du Monstre Greyday 4/1/06 4/1/06 April 6, 2006 column What you'd get if Bill Callahan (the one from Smog, not the Huskers) fronted Pavement. (4/6/06)
Head Control System Murder Nature The End 4/1/06        
Volumen Science Faction Wantage USA 4/1/06        
The Plastic Constellations Crusades French Kiss 4/1/06 4/2/06 April 6, 2006 column Frenetic, proggy, spazzy rock, strange and danceable, exactly what you'd expect from a band on this label (Les Savy Fav, Rahim, etc.).
The Boy Least Likely To The Best Party Ever Too Young to Die 4/1/06 8/13/06      
Push to Talk self titled Doghouse 4/1/06        
The Danger O's Little Machines Creep 4/1/06        
The Sexy Accident Tourism self release 4/1/06        
Kyle Harvey Truth is the Color of Teeth self release 4/1/06   April 6, 2006 column Stark, almost grim heartbreak tone-poems infused with electronics. Bleak. (4/6/06)
Raising the Fawn The Maginot Line Sonic Unyon 4/1/06 4/1/06      
The Stills Without Feathers Vice 4/1/06        
Diasiole Escalade EP Four23 4/1/06 4/1/06      
Darsombra Ecdysis At A Loss 4/1/06        
Wilderness Survival Stereotypes and Types of Stereos Catch Camera 4/1/06        
Gram Rabbit Cultivation Stinky 4/1/06        
Sleepy River The Funeral Birth of a Tree Swingset 4/1/06        
Organ Thief Orphan Teeth self release 4/1/06        
Crystal Skulls Outgoing Behavior Suicide Squeeze 4/1/06 4/2/06      
Tells Hope Your Wounds Heal Fire 4/1/06        
The Campbells Pound on Your Boxes Wall of Spikes 4/1/06        
Moray For Your Amusement self release 4/1/06        
Track a Tiger Woke Up Early the Day I Died Future Appletree 4/1/06        
Caption #1/Enoch Color What You Want split Just Me 4/1/06        
Whitestarr Luv Machine Contago 4/1/06        
The Eighteenth Day of May self titled Hannibal 4/1/06   April 6, 2006 column British acoustic folk in the style of Richard and Linda Thompson/Fairport Convention; the kind of music we all need more of in our lives. (4/6/06)
Apollo Nove Res Inexplicata Volans Ziriguiroom 4/1/06        
Elf Power Back to the Web Ryko 4/1/06 4/1/06 April 6, 2006 column From Athens, they have the same sheen of early acoustic R.E.M., though Andy Rieger is no Michael Stipe, but maybe that's a good thing. (4/6/06)
Congotronics 2 Buzz 'n' Rumble from the Urb 'n' Jungle Congotronics 4/1/06        
Two Gallants What the Toll Tells Saddle Creek 4/1/06 4/1/06 April 6, 2006 column While a little of these hippy, ship-galley sea-shanty balladeers goes a long way, I'm beginning to see why they appealed to the sexy young execs at Saddle Creek. (4/6/06)
Talking Heads Speaking in Tongues Rhino 4/1/06 4/1/06 April 6, 2006 column Part of a massive reissuing of early Heads material, Rhino wouldn't send me the whole thing. Each DualDisc includes the album in 5.1 Surround Sound with a couple videos included. If you don't own this, now's the time. (4/6/06)
The Twilight Singers Powder Burns One Little Indian 3/17/06 3/17/06 April 6, 2006 column Greg Dulli (ex-Afghan Whigs) knows how to put his soul on the slab for anyone to poke at. He's done it again, albeit less subtly than on Blackberry Belle. (4/6/06)
Neil Diamond 12 Songs American 3/17/06 3/17/06 April 6, 2006 column Again, I don't want to hear it. This gets added points from the Rick Rubin production, the only guy that can convince these dinosaurs that all they need is their guitar. (4/6/06)
Lauren K. Newman Postulate I Greyday 2/26/06 2/26/06      
Cricket Spin self titled Ben Yonda 2/26/06        
Maps & Atlases Tree, Swallows, Houses self released 2/23/06 4/2/06      
Brief Candles They Live We Sleep Latest Flame 2/23/06        
Chasing Elroy Random Under Fifthrum 2/23/06        
Clearviewkills Wrap This Around Your Neck Orange Peel 2/23/06        
Leaving Rouge Elsewhere Greyday 2/23/06        
Pat Bacon The Lucky Ones Providence 2/23/06        
Deaf Pedestrians self titled Dot Point Period 2/23/06        
Three Fantastic self titled Dot Point Period 2/23/06        
Work Clothes These Are The Shoes We Where Fractured 2/23/06        
Life After Laserdisque Laser of Justice self release 2/23/06 2/23/06   See Feb. 24 blog entry.
Pink Razors Waiting to Wash Up Robotic Empire 2/23/06        
Little Klimt and Chofferson self titled Batteryface 2/23/06        
Stereolab Fab Four Suture Too Pure 2/23/06 2/23/06 April 6, 2006 column I admit to never being a fan, but I can see why some might dig this French/Euro/Retro pop. I'm not one of them (4/6/06)
Jonah Matranga There's a Lot In Here Equal Vision 2/23/06        
Centro-matic Fort Recovery Misra 2/23/06 2/23/06 April 6, 2006 column The most unheralded geniuses in indie since The Grifters (or Silkworm, but that's another story). It's about time they get discovered by the masses. (4/6/06)
Joseph Francis Machine Backhanded: Disparities and Alterations self release 2/23/06        
The Stragglyrs Lost in a Tube self release 2/23/06        
Last Falling In Loving Memory Skylight Digital 2/23/06        
Paper Owls A Collection of Songs self release 2/10/06 2/10/06   Omaha-based boy/girl duo mines trip-hop pop heavy on the electronics and light on the melodies. April Twist's breathy voice lurks somewhere between Fiona Apple and Sarah McLachlan and can be quite haunting on the slower, more laid-back tracks like the tonal "Can of Worms" and the simple, spare "Rain's Room." The more upbeat numbers ("Tea Leaves," "Skeleton Dance," "Sybil") are a bit too middle-of-the-road for my taste, and April's lack of enunciation makes the lyrics difficult to decipher, but maybe that's the whole idea (A lyric sheet would be nice). Too often the melodies merely follow the chord changes, making them fade into nothing. Still, the homemade production is crisp and clean, and the overall vibe is nice if not inoffensive (that's code for saying take more chances next time). 2/25/06
Belle and Sebastian The Life Pursuit Matador 2/4/06 2/4/06 April 6, 2006 column Their retro upbeat dance record heavy on Bowie and T. Rex, I hated it at first. It's grown on me (like a fungus). (4/6/06)
various artists Take Action! Vol. 5 Sub City 2/4/06 2/4/06      
Just a Fire Spanish Time Sickroom 2/4/06 2/4/06      
Purchase New York in vitro veritas Indierect 2/4/06 2/4/06      
Haram self titled Lovitt 2/4/06        
Schoolyard Heroes Fantastic Wounds The Control Group 2/4/06        
No Blood Orphan Your Ship Sailed the Seven Seas Ant 2/4/06 2/6/06   See Feb. 15 feature.
State of the Ark self titled Virgin 1/26/06 1/26/06 April 6, 2006 column They rip off every '70s act from The Knack to Sweet, but remind you why you liked those bands in the first place. Inspired line: "Try some manners, f***face." (4/6/06)
Shelley Short Captain Wild Horse Rides the Heart of Tomorrow Hush 1/26/06 2/4/06      
Rahim Ideal Lives Frenchkiss 1/20/06 1/20/06 April 6, 2006 column Frenetic, proggy, spazzy rock, strange and danceable, exactly what you'd expect from a band on this label (Les Savy Fav, The Plastic Constellations, etc.). (4/6/06)
Polysic Now is the Time! Tofu 1/20/06        
Cat Power The Greatest Matador 1/20/06 1/20/06 See Jenny Vs. Chan This is the first album that Chan has produced that I've enjoyed from beginning to end. She's sanded down the rough edges, added the necessary accompaniment and written the most heartfelt and tuneful songs of her career. Sure, she's sounding even more like Mazzy Star with her sleepy, slurred vocals and warm mid-tempo dream-melodies, but she's also reminding me more and more of Joni Mitchell and Rickie Lee Jones, especially when she jazzes it up with horns (like on the centerpiece, "Willie"). Maybe she's just getting older, and wiser, and better. (1/24/06) Yes
Brimstone Howl Bang!x7 Speed! Nebraska 1/20/06 1/20/06      
Green Carnation Acoustic Verses The End 1/20/06        
XRayOK Like Life self release 1/20/06        
Picket Line Chapter:End self release 1/20/06        
Ask Andy It's About Time self release 1/20/06        
Bancroft The Melophobic Solution self release 1/20/06        
Colormusic self titled Pink House 1/20/06        
Summit Ave As I Am self release 1/20/06        
Clear Static Album Maverick 1/20/06        
Peter Adams The Spiral Eyes Subcircle 1/20/06        
Kitaro Spiritual Garden Domo 1/20/06        
Glassine Neat Spirits self release 1/20/06        
Landing on the Moon LOTM EP self release 1/20/06 1/20/06   See Jan. 26, 2006 profile
Anonymous American World War III self release 1/20/06 1/20/06      


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